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NIASA 2012

7th Annual National Awards for Excellence in Architectural Thesis 2012 - South Zone V

"McGan´s Ooty School of Architecture" in conjunction with the Council of Architecture (CoA), New Delhi, and its academic unit - National Institute for Advanced Studies in Architecture (NIASA), Pune, hosted the 7th Annual National Awards for Excellence in Architectural Thesis 2012- South Zone V which was held on campus on the 13, 14, and 15 September 2012.

The event included a three day exhibition of the best Thesis projects submitted by the final year students in B.Arch undergraduate courses this academic year from different Architectural colleges under South Zone V.

The exhibition was inaugurated on 13th September 2012 by the Chief Guest, Prof. Althaf Ahmed in the presence of the College´s Director Prof. Solomon D Vedamuthu, Principal Prof. Vikram C Devraj and the then Dean Prof. David Carun."

Stalwarts from the field of architecture- Prof Jayashree Deshpande (Director- NIASA Pune), Ar. Prakash Deshmukh and the special jury members constituted by the CoA namely Ar. Sirish Sukhatme, Ar. Anirudh Paul and Ar. Surya Kakani were involved in short listing the 10 best entries which were presented by the students on the final day of the event. The jury was open to the general public, students and faculty from all regional Colleges of Architecture, eminent citizens and the media. After the brain storming session of the Jury, 2 best Thesis were selected for the All India competition of the same.

Rural Survey 2013

As part of the academic curriculum, the students of second year are expected to undertake a detailed survey and analysis of a rural settlement. This was a time to broaden their knowledge on people, their culture and the vernacular architectural systems.

Chettinad architecture has evolved into one of the most dominant architectural styles in south India in a very short time span. Later architectural styles have taken elements and have been inspired by the scale and detail achieved by the Chettiars. In order to expose the students to the Chettinad architectural styles as well its influence on the rural settlement patterns, the second year students were taken to two villages which fall in the Karaikudi region which is one of the most prominent Chettinad settlements.

Kunnathur, a village located 350 km. from Ooty is far cry from the urban systems that we understand. A place that takes a person back in time. The students were stationed in Ponnamaravati, the nearest town to both the villages shortlisted for the survey. With approximately 150 households, ranging from a mud and thatch structure to a modern construction in concrete, this village had all the elements of the changing face of an Indian village.

The other batch surveyed another neighbouring village in the same region, Oduvanpatti. This little village fits the description of an undeveloped village with utmost perfection. It consisted of around 120 houses, quiet similar to Kunnathur. Surrounded by mountains on all sides, the settlement was absolutely untouched and serene.

The students analysed the vernacular architecture pertaining to the villages. Villages were mostly self-sustained but in the recent years they have become increasingly dependent on the neighbouring towns and cities for means of livelihood, healthcare and entertainment etc. Through the survey, the students tried to evaluate the details of human settlements, growth patterns, and influences of external factors which come into play due to growth of urban centres. After a detailed documentation and survey of the two settlements, the students were expected to come up with proposals based on inferences drawn through the study.